Small plane makes emergency landing on I-5 near Del Mar – NBC 7 San Diego
A small plane made an emergency landing on the southbound Interstate 5 on Tuesday near Del Mar in northern San Diego County, confusing and amazed motorists at the unexpected sight.
The single-engine Piper PA-32 aircraft made its landing around 12:15 p.m., according to the FAA, prompting several emergency vehicles to rush to the scene. It is still unclear why the pilot landed on the freeway, although the FAA has said it plans to investigate the incident.
NBC 7 consumer Bob was at the scene a few minutes later. This is what he saw.
SkyRanger 7 captures images of a small plane that landed on I-5 near Del Mar on August 24, 2021. The plane was missing part of its right wing. See here
The aircraft came to rest on the far left of the southbound lanes, near the separation from the freeway. Consumer Bob at the scene said he saw fuel leaking from the north side of I-5. The crews moved quickly to clean up the fuel after their arrival.
Consumer Bob said a man who appeared to be the pilot of the plane was seen with injuries to his leg. Later that day, the FAA said there were two people on board when it arrived on the freeway.
NBC’s SkyRanger 7 captured aerial footage at the scene, which showed the plane was missing half of its right wing. The wing appeared to be about 500 feet from the plane, on the side of the freeway.
A piece of the plane also appeared to have landed on a car that had parked on the shoulder. It is not known whether the occupants of this vehicle were injured during the landing.
Sarah Trivett, whose car crashed into the crashing plane, said: “He hit us and then rolled over. And then the wing got stuck in the other car.”
“So we interrupted the fall because we and a few people behind us came up after us and said they literally saw him fall and he landed on our car,” Trivett said.
Puzzled drivers could be seen getting out of their cars, taking pictures of the plane and its broken wing on the highway.
The incident caused a pullback on the motorway with traffic coming to a complete stop just after Via De La Valle.
FAA officials declined to identify the occupants of the plane, saying in a statement that “the agency does not identify people involved in plane crashes or incidents.”
The FAA will investigate the cause of the plane’s crash, reports NBC 7.
Around 1:30 p.m., the San Diego Fire Department tweeted that all lanes along I-5 southbound to Via de la Valle would be closed so that authorities could investigate the incident and work to clear the plane from the freeway. Shortly after 2:45 p.m. Caltrans tweeted that the three southbound right lanes had reopened, but the southbound HOV lanes and lanes # 1 and # 2 remained closed. The northbound HOV lane also remains closed.
Shortly before 4:30 a.m., a crane operator lifted the aircraft onto a large platform bed and pulled the aircraft off the highway, allowing the CHP to reopen all lanes.